Alphane Moon 8A in Chironico,
pic by Aldo Tonazzi

Friday, November 23, 2012


After quite a few days without any entry, I have to tell many stories. ;)
The current weather situation we have in Swizzy since about two weeks is a “meteorological singularity” (unique weather conditions). Such conditions are not unusual during a year and the one in November is called “Martinisommer”.  There is a similar but more famous meteorological singularity in September, which is called “Altweibersommer”… or “Indian summer”.
So the last two weeks we had very stable weather without any rain… just some low stratus. But above the mist you’ve just blue sky and the sun. Perfect conditions on the high mountains and o.k. to good conditions in the valleys and the midland. At least if you’re not amid the mist.
I tried to make use of these pretty good conditions and changed almost every climbing-day into another area. From Murgtal to Chironico, Chironico, back to Murgtal, back to Chironico, back to Murgtal again and last of all up to the Sustenpass. :)
The first day at Murgtal about two and a half weeks ago was pretty disappointing. EVERYTHING was completely WET. Even boulders, which usually are dry were bedraggled. We just found two doable lines, but were so much disenchanted that we drove down to Chironico for another two hours. This was the first climbing day, after my ascent of “Blochx Addiction, 8A”. So I had to go for the harder version “Pure Addiction, 8A+” and checked out the variant moves. Although we expected completely dry conditions, it was quite humid. And so it was not possible for me to hold on the bad sloper at the start of the line and therefore I was not able to give it some promising tries.
the shitty sloper (right hand)... and above the little crimps of the "Pure addiciton"-topout. 

A few climbing days later I was back in “Pure Addiciton, 8A+” and almost climbed it. But also this evening it was not completely dry. And that after about two weeks without any drop of water!! Funny… but the upcoming humidity in the evenings had to take the blame. Especially the last holds on the topout were pretty moist. Also the very important small crimp was wet. REALLY… it was wet!!! Sure… I tried to dry it with magnesia but it has not helped much. Anyway… I climbed all the moves up to this crimp and tried to do the next move. I already felt that my fingers were sliding, but tried it notwithstanding. AAAAAND… I slipped out of the crimp and fell off. Aaaarghhh…!!! Never mind… next time I’ll do it. ;)

The next day then I was back at Murgtal and experienced a special evening. First of all I arrived at the Chüngel-bloc. I just went there to check for my friend Aldo, if his project in this area is dry or not. After a short check I drove a bit further up to turn the car AND… bog down!!!!!!! OHHH MAN… what a BULLSHIT!! My car lay there like bog mummy! Nothing helped... I had to call some friends to pull me out of this shitty situation and they had to drive for about 40 minutes just to help out. Sorry guys…!!!! ;)
In the meantime I started to work on one of my open projects at the “Chüngel-bloc”. This was the only one I could do in the meantime. The line is very nice and unclimbed (I’m pretty sure). Not too high… but pretty high with a huge dyno at the end to a good jug in the middle of the wall. I’ve seen this line already this spring and tried it… but was not able to do the far dyno. I already thought that it would give something around 8A or above. But this evening I just needed a good warmup and a short rest until my friends arrived. As they arrived I just apologized and told them that they now can be witnesses for the FA. And so it was… the next try I climbed it up to the jug and “Sojus, 7C+” was born.
I’ve no picture of the line… sorry. The boulder starts at “Sex & the city, 6C+”, but goes straight up until the obvious jug. It was not too hard in the end. If you stand high up for the last dyno it’s not so far as expected and I think that 7C+ is appropriate. Hopefully it was not climbed before… but as I know there was no one which has climbed it so far.
AND hey… thanks again for your help guys…!!!!!!!!!!!! Was a nice effort! Without your help I would still wait for help at Murgtal… haha :)
After my ascent of “Sojus” I drove up to my other project at the “Love&Pain boulder”. This one is much harder and will give something around 8A+ or 8B in the end. The last day I tried it was very disenchanting… but the conditions were pretty bad. This evening now the conditions were perfect and I almost make use of them. But just ALMOST! Can’t wait for the next Murgi-day…

So… now to the last story for this never ending entry. :)
It was on this Wednesday. After my uncountable (at least it feels like that) tries in my main project “Reykyavik low” at the Sustenpass, I had to stop trying it because of the snow up there and the closed street. I always hoped to get another chance up there in November… and now, after this more than two weeks without any rain and the perfect weather in the mountains, it was time to go back there for some more tries.
But hey… I’m a usual “workman” (and father of two sons) and I’ve not the time to go climbing during days. Sure… at the weekends it would be possible, but I’m usually climbing in the evening on workdays and have not the time to walk up for 40 minutes and back down for another 40 minutes (plus a 40 minute drive by car). So what I can do then…? My mothers E-bike I’ve already checked out. It’s a good possibility… but still tiring! So I had to watch out for another alternative… and found the following:
my new toy... ;o))

As I told my idea to my girlfriend, she was close to take me to the madhouse…!! ;)
“WHAT… for 5 days a year you want to buy such a scooter!!??!!”
O.k… it’s kind of crazy… I know! But I cannot just use it for the Sustenpass, but also for Murgtal as soon as the barrier is closed, or for Wassen. AND… it was pretty cheap. I paid less than 500 bugs for that funny moped. In Switzerland it usually costs 900 bugs. But I ordered it in Germany and saved a lot of money. So I can sell it in a few years for 300 up to 400 bugs and wouldn’t have lost much money. ;)
nothing forgotten... everything I need is in.

Well… at the beginning I was pretty skeptical, if that electrical scooter would be strong enough to be able to drive for 4,5km up the hill with 100kg load. To my own surprise it IS ABLE…  LIKE A BAT OUT OF HELL he drove up to the Sustenpass. I think I had about 8 up to 10 minutes. O.k… the battery was down just as I arrived at the Sustenbrüggli… but hey… WHO CARES!! I was up there without any wasted power…!!!!!!!! ;)
O.k… it didn’t helped in the end. I was not able to finish my project. But at least I was closer than ever before. Now I will have another two chances by tomorrow and next Tuesday or Wednesday. Afterwards it should start to rain…. and on this altitude it will give snow again for sure. I think these are the last chances I will have in 2012. So I really hope to take them and climb up that stunning piece of rock. After 10 days and sensed 1000 tries it is time to finish it up….!!!!!!!!!!!! ;o))

Cheers & keep on rockin’

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Retrieval

After my failure at "Reykyavik low" and the upcoming snow at the Sustenpass, we had to watch out for new stuff out there in the boulderworld. My first intention was to revert to Murgtal to revive some projects up there. However the rain and wet conditions at Murgtal constrained us to go down to Ticino and pick up a new project down there.

For both of us it was fastly clear, which sector - or better said - which boulder we want to choose for that evening. Aldo was still very interested in an ascent of "Souvenir, 8A", which I did two years ago. My goal was "Blochx Addiction, 8A", which I already tried last winter but almost went despearate on it because of my disability to hold the hard swing.
This day it was quite a short story. After some warmups and some tries to get into the specific moves, I started to try it resolute. Firstly I was still not able to hold the swing for a few tries, but afterwards I retarded it at some goes and at the third time I climbed through the boulder.

body position before the swing...

My feeling is, that the "Blochx Addiciton" is a quite hard boulder for 8A. Sure, the grade is appropriate... but on the upper side. The fact, that the boulder has not many repetitions seems to confirm my impression.
The moves are very specific and powerful on relatively slopy holds for a "roof-climb" with such long moves... and also the few bad footholds are not helping much.

Anyway... now I can go for the harder topout-version called "Pure Addiction, 8A+". Who knows... if I'm lucky, I could be able to finish it up today evening. Let's see what happens... ;)


Monday, November 5, 2012

Reykyavik low - 2

After the first six days in "Reykyavik low", which I've already described in one of my last entries, I put some more days into it afterwards. I was a bit under pressure, because of the upcoming bad and cold weather and the snow, which was a forthcoming consequence of it. It was (or better said IS) a big wish to complete this FA-project this year... but now, after the snow up there is reality and the road up to the pass is closed for the next months, the chances are very little to get more chances on it.

As you can read out of these words, i was not able to climb and finish the line. Even three more days were not enought to succeed. The road was already completely closed for some days and afterwards they opened it just during days. As a consequence of it I even had to take my mothers E-bike the one evening...!!
It was a good warmup... but still quite tiring. ;o)

The last day then (day nr. 9) I took off work in the afternoon, went for the potential last chance this year and gave it some more tries. Likewise unsuccessful...!

I was pretty disappointed!! Every day it felt more and more possible and I had several very promising tries up to or even through the last crux. But it seemed, that I put in too many days in a row and during a too short time, so that my body was not able to recover enough between these climbing days. After day nr. 9 I felt completely distroyed... despite of my best tries that day. It was a MUST to let it be for some days/weeks now... so the current snow up there is not a big problem. I'm just hoping that I get one or two more chances during November, when I can go up there totally fresh and recovered.

Because of the fact that this is a very short and pure boulder, the few moves are extremely hard and the specific muscles are getting pretty stressed. Another thing is that you have to pull the whole boulder over your left hook... on different positions. So your body is the whole time under a huge tension. No wonder that especially the hook was the lacking limb in the end.

Anyway... I will be back soon, if I get another chance. If not... I will finish it early next year. HOPEFULLY...!! ;)